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The Cardinals have moved ahead of the Brewers for first place in the National League Central

Sep 1, 2014, 6:31 PM EDT

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Strap in, folks. September figures to be pretty interesting in the National League Central.

The Brewers lost 4-2 to the Cubs this afternoon at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Meanwhile, the Cardinals defeated the Pirates 5-4 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for their third straight victory. As a result, the Cardinals (74-63) are all alone in first place in the National League Central for the first time this season while the Brewers (73-64) have fallen out of first place for the first time since April 4.

The Cardinals were actually trailing 4-2 going into the bottom of the seventh inning this afternoon, but Kolten Wong hit a game-tying two-run homer off Gerrit Cole before Jon Jay tripled and Matt Holliday drove him in with a single to put St. Louis in front. Carlos Martinez pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Trevor Rosenthal worked around a two-out error in the ninth to lock down his 41st save of the season.

While the Cardinals have a one-game advantage over the Brewers and now sit three games up on the Pirates, there’s still a long way to go here. The Cardinals and Brewers have seven games remaining against each other, including a four-game series later this week in Milwaukee and a three-game set from September 16-18 in St. Louis. In addition to two more games against the Cardinals, the Pirates will play a three-game series against the Brewers at home from September 19-21.

  1. chill1184 - Sep 1, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    NL Central being the best race down the stretch for two seasons in a row. Granted the AL Central race has gotten interesting as well.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Injury riddled starting pitching, unreliable bullpen, declining vets, young players not playing up to expectations, negative run differential, little power, questionable roster moves, conspiracy theories about who plays and who doesn’t…and sole possession of first place September 1.

    It may only last for today but considering the above, it’s a nice view from the top.

    • SocraticGadfly - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:11 PM

      Speaking of questionable, they won today with BOTH Descalso and Kozma starting. Yeah, I know Wong was hurt, but still, I hope I never ever again have to type that sentence I just did.

      • shadowshand - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:09 AM

        Isn’t that terrifying? One of the fundamental problems this year is Descalso, Sugar Shane, Kozma, Borjous and the rest of the .220 hitters that are on the bench. That’s the team’s depth. And Mo gets two mid-level arms at the trading deadline–how’s that working out? Sorry state of affairs.

        Message to Mo–Go get Giancarlo Stanton.

    • missingdiz - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      All that. But if Holliday slugs .913 the rest of the way, as he has for the past 6 games, we’ll be fine.

      • SocraticGadfly - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:25 PM

        Holliday in general tilts a bit toward second-half performances, as his splits show, so let’s hope, based on that, that this continues, yes: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=hollima01&year=Career&t=b

      • shadowshand - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:15 AM

        The last six games aren’t a problem, but the previous 140 or so are. Just hasn’t been one of his better years, but we can always hope he’s untracked now.

    • SocraticGadfly - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:42 PM

      And, this — a certain rehabbing pitcher could replace Masterson in Thursday’s slot: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/wacha-has-successful-outing-at-class-aa/article_78b86a0e-1fe1-53b5-a239-f4174c5208a8.html

      If that’s possible, the Cards could not pitch Martinez between now and Thursday, and have him for extended relief behind Wacha.

      • shadowshand - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:19 AM

        Fly–I’d rather have you in rotation than Masterson. Maybe he’s still hurt, but he’s been a disaster. And I heard somebody say yesterday that he was supposed to be Cleveland’s ace at the beginning of the year? Wow.

  3. SocraticGadfly - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Looks like that Sunday head injury for Wong indeed wasn’t serious.

    And, with that, I’d like to suggest to Reds fans that Billy Hamilton’s ROY Award isn’t yet in the bag.

    • okwhitefalcon - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:16 PM

      Hamilton would have to break a leg and Wong would have to have a September of sustained excellence (not just decent production) for Wong to overtake Hamilton for ROY.

      The odds of either, let alone both are slim…

      • SocraticGadfly - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        Well, speaking of splits, which I did above on Holliday, Hamilton’s showing signs of fading. And, deGrom is still a legit candidate, too.

  4. maddog11896 - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    25 games left for the Brewers. This is going to get very very interesting. Going .500 won’t be enough I’m afraid. The 90 win threshold seems to be the postseason guarantee, so here’s to hoping the Brewers can win 17 more games.

  5. erbaodai - Sep 1, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    The Cardinals have a -6 run differential.

  6. NatsLady - Sep 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

    Pirates, please, please, please, rescue us from both these teams. Win your Division.

    • yourcubreporter - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      I wish I could thumbs up more than once!

    • Paper Lions - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      Pete Kozma haunts your dreams.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 1, 2014 at 11:46 PM

        Kozma!

      • Paper Lions - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        Do you have some kind of alert that notifies you any time the word Komza shows up anywhere on WordPress?

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:09 AM

        Owasso’s own Kozmanaut has made his triumphant return!

        Fun Koz factoid historiophiliac, he works out at Champions Sports Complex at 61st and 169 in the off season. :)

      • historiophiliac - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        Oooh, that’s right up the street…and it appears the penalties for a first offense of stalking are pretty light here. :)

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        It’s not stalking if you just “happen to be hanging around at the same time”. :)

        Koz also frequents the Brothers Houligan at 61st and Mingo if you happen to be craving some chicken fried steak (and the best gravy in T-Town) on a cold winter afternoon.

        Hell, that sounds good right now..

      • Paper Lions - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        So….you are going out for some ribs and gravy?

      • historiophiliac - Sep 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        How have I not run into him before? I wonder if they’ll have the game on tonight…

        Wait, are you stalking him? lol

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        @Paper Lions Ribs and gravy would be optimal!

        @historiophiliac I think “stalking” maybe a bit too strong although “actively putting oneself in a position to have a chance meeting by spending excessive amounts of time at places Koz frequents in the off season” wouldn’t be too weird, would it?.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 2, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        Not at all weird, falcon. I guess I know why I’ve not run into him at the Chili’s in Owasso now…that was a waste. No one but paper would put gravy on ribs. He’s not right. He already ruined ketchup on fries for me. Don’t encourage him.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        Koz at Chili’s would be nothing short of two of the greats (chain restaurants and first round picks from Ohwassuh) coming together as one.

        I think it’s high time you tried A1 on fries, the days of ketchup (or catsup for that matter) have gone the way of the Urban Tulsa and Roy D Mercer.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:41 PM

        Dang, how big a boy are ya? I’m pretty sure you know why I’m fond of the cheese fries.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 2, 2014 at 10:48 PM

        Big enough to come on down there and wup yer gall dern…

        Ah, ya know ;)

  7. dcbear90 - Sep 1, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    Masterson can have a permanent sets at the end of the bullpen bench

  8. perryt200 - Sep 1, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    While usually

    C ompletely
    U seless
    B y
    S eptember

    as a Cards fan I am still glad they are playing hard.

    also love seeing the Cards battle back in late innings when they are down.

    Let the Cards HATE posts commence.

    Because they are in the mix once again as always

  9. brewcrewfan54 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:10 AM

    Welcome to my nightmare.

  10. omarbow - Sep 2, 2014 at 6:18 AM

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    100% free registeration ————->>> http://goo.gl/Kf11a4

  11. cincinata - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Hey all of you guys. The Brewers and Cards have to remember that the Pirates are not done yet! I still think they will get to the top by October. Congrats to the birds, however this should be short lived. How many times have they come from behind this year? They are not likely to do it many more times. And, the pitching is not getting much better, but a little worse. Don’t count on Wacka this year. He is not coming back for at least two weeks and how strong will he be? The Brewers are getting weaker pitching too, and Broxton will help only marginally. The Pirates are steady and the hitting is better than the other two teams. I will be greatly shocked to see the birds winning two of three from the Pirates, but I have been wrong before. The luck of the Cards can only last so long. Oh, Cincinnati, is DEAD for sure this year.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 2, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      Cincy: Just because you type it…it doesn’t mean it’s real. Lol!

    • kevb62 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      Pirates need to play out of their mind to make it.

      They won’t.

    • spudchukar - Sep 2, 2014 at 9:12 PM

      The Pirates are dead last in defense. Their bull pen hasn’t been lights out like last year. Starters are up and down. They have some talent, and could make a run, but it won’t be as automatic as you suggest.

      The inference that the Cards are where they are due to luck is embarrassingly silly.

  12. bigmeechy74 - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    shocking

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